Warsaw Will

Joined: December 3, 2010

Number of comments posted: 1043

Number of votes received: 357

I'm a TEFL teacher working in Poland. I have a blog - Random Idea English - where I do some grammar stuff for advanced students and have the occasional rant against pedantry.

Questions Submitted

Natural as an adverb

In his entry on ‘try and do’, Fowler calls it “an idiom that...

apostrophe with expressions of distance or time

I imagine everyone uses an apostrophe with expressions of di...

tonne vs ton

I’m all for the metric system, and I’m sure a lot of British...

Tell About

On ESL websites I sometimes see instructions to students of ...

“reach out”

I’m not usually a peever, but I do make an exception for bus...

Fit as a butcher’s dog

Has anybody come across the idiom “Fit as a butcher’s dog”, ...

You’ve got another think/thing coming

If you’re over a certain age, you will probably be familiar ...

When “one of” many things is itself plural

There are all sorts of things I believed in then which I don...

Recent Comments

on: It is you who are/is ...

@Brus - I know it's perfectly correct, but "It is I who am w...

on: It is you who are/is ...

@Brus - It's a bit late in the day, but I'm with donnahansen...

on: “I’m just saying”

@jf - Don't most of us have times when we are not really su...

on: “It is what it is”

@providencejim - Hi. In the news today: Roberto Mancini s...

on: “It is what it is”

@providencejim - Sorry, I hadn't noticed you'd already place...

on: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”

@Ingebiorg Nordén - And the interesting thing with your exam...

on: “It is what it is”

@hot diggedy dayum - this sort of comment would be more at h...

on: and so...

@Hal121205 - If you're so concerned about extraneous languag...

on: who vs. whom

Yes, we'd normally use whom after a preposition, but a lot o...

on: He and I, me and him

Hi Jaxagirl - Just to defend the Queen, not that I'm a great...

on: He and I, me and him

@Jaxagirl - Thanks for adding a word to my vocabulary. I tak...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

@Skeeter Lewis - and to complete the trilogy - object form -...

on: my being vs me being

"She doesn't like me smoking in the house" "She doesn't lik...

on: tailorable

Don't we already frequently use 'tailor-made' for plenty of ...

on: Where used you to live?

@SpeakEnglandveryDelicious - in TEFL we teach the following:...

on: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”

In my experience (British English), it's usually pronounced ...

on: Rules for -ise and -ize

@AnWulf - I take your point about the spelling system, and a...

on: Where used you to live?

@Percy - re: "do I ought". I think we only have a choice bet...

on: Everybody vs. Everyone

@Johnson G - whichever takes your fancy; there is no differe...

on: watch much stuff?

@Hacovo - Are you sure people are saying "I don't watch much...

on: Punctuations for a series of sentences

This sentence is often given as an example of when it's acce...

on: Where used you to live?

In Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (Oxford 1995), whi...

on: watch much stuff?

"Stuff" is neither a plural noun, like "things", nor a colle...

on: replaced by or replaced with

@porsche - and rather a good thought, I think. And there mig...

on: replaced by or replaced with

@Thomas Smith - I have some sympathy for your argument, and ...

on: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”

@Skeeter Lewis - Here's a thought: use "I've got" etc when y...

on: Medicine or Medication?

@Hairy Scot - I think this may be an example of what you wer...

on: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”

@Thomas Smith - I teach foreign students and have never come...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

Mark Liberman, of the University of Pennsylvania, has a post...

on: replaced by or replaced with

Strangely, dictionaries don't seem to be a lot of help here....

on: Someone else’s

@Hmmmm - redundancy has nothing to do with grammar; it's abo...

on: Everybody vs. Everyone

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary: everybody = everyone ...

on: cannot vs. can not

Sorry again. That should have course read "which is better i...

on: cannot vs. can not

Sorry, that's not distancing, but a polite form....

on: cannot vs. can not

"Both the one-word form cannot and the two-word form can not...

on: “If I was” vs. “If I were”

@Skeeter Lewis - You might well prefer "were", and that's fi...

on: Verb-tense agreement for a quote that is still true

@Kamran - my version would go something like: Sara: Hello ...

on: “If I was” vs. “If I were”

And another article, by Professor of linguistics, Geoffrey P...

on: “If I was” vs. “If I were”

If anyone is still following this, there's an interesting bl...

on: Verb-tense agreement for a quote that is still true

@Skeeter Lewis - Hi. Although Sequence of tenses may be the...

on: “make a decision” or “take a decision”

@cheyenne - that doesn't sound too surprising as, according ...

on: Verb-tense agreement for a quote that is still true

@porsche - First of all, all the best in your difficult situ...

on: Verb-tense agreement for a quote that is still true

@Skeeter Lewis - sorry, that sounded a bit more hectoring th...

on: Verb-tense agreement for a quote that is still true

@Skeeter Lewis - Check before you click, and we might occasi...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

I just came across this sentence - "[they're] just a couple...

on: Verb-tense agreement for a quote that is still true

If the statement still holds true you have a choice: you can...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

Barrie England has an interesting article on the subject at ...

on: “who she was” vs. “what she was”

Incidentally, my search brought up another interesting use -...

on: Rules for -ise and -ize

@AnWulf - because it's part of my identity and part of the l...

on: Medicine or Medication?

@chrisbolton20 - I think you have a point about the liquid v...

on: Medicine or Medication?

@Skeeter Lewis - My (British) dictionary defines medication ...

on: “who she was” vs. “what she was”

I think your professor has a bit of a problem seeing the woo...

on: Loose = Lose?

@crumble - I was going to to take you to task and suggest th...

on: I’ve no idea

@Skeeter Lewis - interesting point about stress, but I can't...

on: “make a decision” or “take a decision”

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, both ...

on: wish it would...

As a linking verb, the verb to be works differently to other...

on: American versus British question

@Hairy Scot - I'm so glad to hear it. Silly me for being a b...

on: Rules for -ise and -ize

@Skeeter Lewis - No, sorry but I like my -ise verbs, as evid...

on: Pronouncing “gala”

@Skeeter Lewis - I'd love to take the glory, but it was the ...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

@brandieliz44777 - you're absolutely right, when we are talk...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

Sorry - prepositional verb -"talk about" - not phrasal verb...

on: Pronouncing “gala”

@Perfect Pedant - a bit late, but as somebody with Douglas c...

on: mines

@Bengo - sorry to have prejudged you, and by your example, I...

on: American versus British question

@Hairy Scot - joking aside, although I "-ise" every verb I p...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

@porsche - you are quite right, I meant "to". I take your po...

on: “Bring” vs. “Take” differences in UK and American English

@bloops - nice variation on the song, and you're right about...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

@Frogwhisperer - 'He gave it to Michelle and me' - Michelle ...

on: Titled vs. Entitled

Checking with Ngram, the results for British books is not ve...

on: Correct preposition following different?

I thought for one shocking moment that Perfect Pedant had tu...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

Drat that extra that!...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

@jack et. al.- not to mention the fact that even in Latin, v...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

Perhaps if people weren't continually being 'corrected' for ...

on: Latest vs. Newest

@Cheryl in France - I wonder what linguists you're talking a...

on: Titled vs. Entitled

@chancery.co - Nobody can argue with that, but that wasn't t...

on: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?

Although for me Lego is uncountable, I fully accept JMick's ...

on: Complete Sentence

@theshockdoctrin and Jasper - Yes, the subject is unclear at...

on: Use of “their” as a genderless singular?

@steve3 - so perhaps you should read this from linguist Gabe...

on: “Liquid water”?

That should be - for 'many TEFL teachers', not 'any'....

on: “Liquid water”?

@Hairy Scot - unfortunately you don't say what the Independe...

on: “Liquid water”?

@Hairy Scot - Is it mainly about Mars that you have been hea...

on: From which part of England do people pronounce the vowel “u” in a similar way to the French “u”?

Accepting that what we're talking about isn't like French u,...

on: As of

@BJ - and other BrE speaking countries, it would seem. A qui...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Corinna, you took the words out of my mouth - how do the 't...

on: “Bring” vs. “Take” differences in UK and American English

Hi Hairy Scot - I don't think it was me who said blurring of...

on: “Bring” vs. “Take” differences in UK and American English

@mediator: I will bring thee where Mistress Anne Page is - ...

on: Not just me who thinks... or Not just me who think... or Not just I who think... or Not just I who thinks...

@Jasper - whomever is an interesting one as it seems to be h...

on: “Bring” vs. “Take” differences in UK and American English

@ Eugene Ryder - I can assure you it cuts both ways on this ...

on: Titled vs. Entitled

@Urpal - most past participles can be adapted to functions a...

on: Word in question: Conversate

@Hairy Scot and Perfect Pedant - all the dictionaries you me...

on: Complete Sentence

@D.A.W - I think you need to sort your moods from your tense...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@porsche - oops, sorry! It was my mistake. I originally had ...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=got+another+thi...

on: Not just me who thinks... or Not just me who think... or Not just I who think... or Not just I who thinks...

Hi Jasper, Tricky one, in one way, but not so much in ano...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

No, sorry Bubbha, it's the other way round. The earliest kno...

on: Past Perfect vs. Past Tense

@Zine - Better late than never perhaps. In terms of tenses, ...

on: “Fine” as a complete sentence

@dougincanada - the operative word in that Oxford dictionary...

on: Abbreviation of “number”

I would say this one is more a matter of personal or house s...

on: Pronouncing “mandatory”

@Percy - In British English, I think we stress the first syl...

on: Use of “their” as a genderless singular?

@D.A.W - if singular they is so awful, what about singular y...

on: repetitive vs. repetitious

My dictionary agrees with you that repetitious has a mainly ...

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